University of Oregon is preparing to lay off roughly 75 people, according to a report from the president of the faculty union.
United Academics, the labor union that represents UO faculty, said that the university’s plans are to reduce 25 positions in both the College of Arts and Science and College of Education, along with 25 additional positions in other areas.
The number of layoffs is a rough estimate, according to Michael Dreiling, President of United Academics.
“It is an estimate. It’s not a certain number,” Dreiling said. “Based upon the information we’ve received, that’s roughly the number that comes up.”
Dreiling said that the number was gathered via conversations with faculty that have been notified about their status and university officials in deans’ offices.
According to administration, these faculty cuts will be a cost-cutting measure, as UO faces an $8.8 million budget shortfall next year. UO has not confirmed the layoffs.
“Leadership from across the university is looking at ways they can help reduce costs and bring about a balanced budget, without sacrificing quality,” UO spokesman Tobin Klinger wrote in a statement. “As the state budget continues to take shape, plans are being made to adapt to the final fiscal circumstances we ultimately face.”
UO generally implements layoffs in the form of contract non-renewals that must occur by May 1. Last May, the school cut 79 non-tenured faculty positions, all in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dreiling fears that these cuts will hurt the quality of education that students will receive in the future. When combined with the cuts made last year, about 10 percent of the workforce at UO is being eliminated, Dreiling said.
“This risks the kind of quality education that we as faculty can deliver to our students,” he said. “It risks hurting programs that serve our students, that they rely on.”
Jack Pitcher contributed reporting.